Reputation for innovation
Silo has gained an excellent reputation for its innovation and no-waste ethos, using ingredients that might otherwise be looked over and methods that create minimal impact on the environment. Douglas McMaster can be seen given talks about the ‘zero-waste’ ideology. I was lucky to enjoy an evening at Silo to see what vegan offerings they had on the newly-launched menu.
A personal & vegan dining experience
Many of the ingredients served at Silo have been foraged, picked and grown locally. Even the side plates used at Silo follow their ideas of minimal impact and zero-waste, for they are made out of recycled plastic by sustainable designer Louise Thilly. Silo offer a service which really involves you, where with each dish you’re told about what you’re eating as opposed to it being written down. This adds connection between the diner and the restaurant, which is further enhanced by the chefs preparing your food just feet away from you.
This evening, we chose to opt for the drinks pairing alongside the 5 course set menu.
Punchy Silo Martini
As an introduction to the meal we were given a glass of Silo’s take on a Martini which was made with Brighton Gin and Vermouth. It had been garnished with pickled beetroot that was made with apple cider vinegar.
First up, we were given some freshly baked bread which had the perfect crunch to its crust, served with a bright green herb oil.
We were also given little bites of pickled swede wraps with foraged sorrel.
Cook For Syria
For the first course I was given the Aubergine. This was a meal created for the Cook For Syria campaign where a percentage of the cost goes to charity. You can find out more about it here. The meal consisted of barbecued aubergine that really looked like a piece of pork when it was served, this was on top of a baba ganoush with the seeds from wild flower, Alexanders. These seeds were aromatic and added a crunch to the dish. The flavours were exceptional, I particularly liked the charred barbecue edge to the melt-in-the-mouth aubergine. To accompany this, a wine from Barcelona was served, this was had a light orange colour and complemented the dish nicely.
The next course was their Root & Apples dish. This was a true surprise to your senses, your eyes saw a dessert but your mouth tasted a rich, flavoursome savoury dish. The al dente apples were carefully placed over slices of celeriac which was sat in a pool of a silky caramel coloured miso sauce.
Shortly after we finished our food a beautiful marbled plate made from recycled plastic was given to us with slices of bright carrot. The carrot had been pickled and topped with rose hip jelly.
Brocoli stalk & seaweed
The third course was broccoli stalk and seaweed. I loved seeing a dish that celebrated the stalk from the broccoli as this often gets thrown away but has always been my favourite part. The seaweed is called dulse, which is purple and has a soft texture. I hadn’t come across it before so was good to try something new.
The broccoli was followed by shiitake mushrooms which was served with potato and turnip. This dish was pleasing to look at and taste. The sauce was slightly thicker than the previous course and the leaf that garnished it was the top of a turnip, another unexpected use of an ingredient.
A dessert that won’t be forgotten
Now for the dessert. This, along with the aubergine dish was my favourite. I haven’t tasted anything like it before and am hooked; I want to go back for more! Sunflower seed ice-cream served with a pine furikaki. The combination of the smooth sweet ice-cream just married so well with a herb oil topped with the crunchy Japanese furikake. I would highly recommend trying this.
Looking forward to next time
We finished our meal very happy, the drinks that had been carefully selected and paired with each dish were spot on and the service was impeccable. I particularly liked the personal touches like Chefs bringing over your food because it’s so often the case that you don’t actually get to meet the Chef that has cooked your food when you eat out. This restaurant is a real gem in Brighton and I wholeheartedly encourage everyone to try it. I for one really can’t wait to go back!